ELLSWORTH, Maine — A New York man has been sentenced to serve three years in prison after pleading guilty to charges stemming from a local drug bust in February.
Melvin Lee Reynolds, 31, of New York City, originally was charged with unlawful trafficking in prescription drugs, specifically oxycodone, when he was arrested. On Nov. 29, Reynolds pleaded guilty in Hancock County Superior Court to charges of unlawful possession of oxycodone and criminal forfeiture in exchange for a dismissal of the trafficking charge, according to court documents.
As a result of the guilty plea, Reynolds received a straight three-year prison sentence with no probation, court records indicate. Information about what kind of criminal history Reynolds might have, which might shed light on why he was sentenced to three years in prison without probation, was not available Tuesday afternoon.
In the days after Reynold’s Feb. 29 arrest in Ellsworth, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency indicated that agents seized a handgun, shotgun, a small quantity of what appeared to be LSD and ecstasy, more than 180 oxycodone pills and $8,000 in cash from a Deane Street apartment where the bust occurred. The estimated street value of the drugs seized was $5,400, police said at the time.
The criminal forfeiture charge that Reynolds pleaded guilty to last week pertains to $7,203 that police say belonged to Reynolds and was either the proceeds from drug sales or intended to purchase more drugs, according to court records. Items or money used in illegal activity and seized by police in criminal cases that result in convictions often are transferred through the criminal forfeiture process to involved law enforcement agencies to help defray their expenses.
Reynolds’ wife, who lives in New York City, has filed a claim in Hancock County Superior Court indicating that she believes $6,000 of the forfeited money was hers. She had received the money in the form of a 2011 federal income tax refund, she wrote in a court form.
A hearing is expected to be held in Hancock County Superior Court to consider Reynolds’ wife’s claim but has been scheduled yet, according to the court clerk’s office. A final disposition for the seized funds will not be decided until a judge renders a decision on the New York woman’s claim.
Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.